The Woman in the Wall: BBC announce new drama with Ruth Wilson and Daryl McCormack

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BBC has announced new drama The Woman in the Wall to air on BBC One.

Described as a “gothic thriller”, it will star BAFTA Award winner Ruth Wilson (Mrs Wilson, The Affair, Luther) alongside Daryl McCormack (Good Luck to You Leo Grande, Peaky Blinders, Bad Sisters).

A teaser for the new drama shares: “Lorna Brady (Wilson) is a woman from the small, fictional town of Kilkinure, who wakes one morning to find a corpse in her house. Chillingly, Lorna has no idea who the dead woman is or if she herself might be responsible for the apparent murder…

“That’s because Lorna has long suffered from extreme bouts of sleepwalking, understood to have manifested around the time she was ripped from her life at the age of 15 and incarcerated in the Kilkinure Convent. The Convent was home to one of Ireland’s infamous Magdalene Laundries, a place where women were taken when they fell afoul of the social mores of their times – from those accused of committing adultery to teenage pregnancies.

“When it finally closed its doors, a score of survivors were left suffering in its wake. Very few women were able to go on and lead relatively normal lives, and others, such as Lorna, were even less fortunate in their fate. One thing all survivors had in common, is that none of them would ever forget.

“Unluckily for Lorna, the extremely ambitious, albeit elusive Detective Colman Akande (McCormack) is now also on her tail for a crime which is seemingly unrelated to the dead woman she’s discovered in her house. Colman quickly rose through the ranks of the Garda Síochána thanks to his natural aptitude for the job. He possesses a dark and sometimes scathing wit but there is a quiet sadness to him that even he doesn’t understand, and he’s hiding his own secrets from the world…

“Distinct, stirring and revelatory, The Woman in The Wall is a gothic detective story shot through with dark humour and elements of psychological horror, which follows a pair of forgotten and unlikely protagonists searching for the answers they so desperately need in a place where they have been long buried…”

Creator and Executive Producer Joe Murtagh said: “My family is from Mayo, the county in which the fictional Kilkinure is set, and it deeply frustrates and saddens me that it feels so few people have heard of the Laundries that existed across Ireland.

“I hope that by making something that has the familiarity of a genre piece we are able to shed some light on the awful things that occurred within these kind of institutions and introduce this history to the wider public, so that nothing like it may ever happen again.”

Ruth Wilson, who also serves as Executive Producer added: “Lorna Brady is a complex and fascinating character and I’m thrilled to help bring her to life. In The Woman in the Wall Joe has created both an enthralling gothic thriller and a moving examination of the legacy of The Magdalene Laundries. It’s a privilege to bring this story to screens.”

The Woman In The Wall will air on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK and Showtime in the US.

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